SADLY, Adelaide chief executive Andrew Fagan knows all too well the challenges and heartbreak of leading a sporting club through tragic loss of life. 

Fagan was CEO of the ACT Brumbies in 2009 and helped guide the organisation past the death of player Shawn Mackay. 

Mackay was on tour with the Brumbies in South Africa when he was hit by a car following the team's 35-14 loss against the Sharks in Durban. 

The 26-year-old received severe head injuries but was stabilised and taken to hospital. 

After showing signs of improvement Mackay died of a heart attack brought on by a blood infection following surgery a week after his accident. 

A major difference between the deaths of Mackay in 2009 and that of Crows coach Phil Walsh last Friday, was that the Brumbies had time to mentally prepare for a worst-case scenario. 

Adelaide did not. 

But as Fagan pointed out last Friday, the true strength of a sporting club lies in its ability to help its closest members through times of need. 

Former Australian Wallaby and current NSW Waratah flanker Stephen Hoiles was Brumbies captain at the time of Mackay's death and told the Brumbies followed the same approach in 2009. 

Hoiles stressed the process of coping with such a tragedy wasn't about a coach, captain or a chief executive single handedly taking control of the situation – a team effort was required. 

Fagan was part of the well-rounded support that steered the Brumbies through the Mackay tragedy and the same response at West Lakes is how the Crows will deal with the loss of Walsh. 

"Our coaching staff, our management, the CEO, all of the people involved at the time were as supportive as you could ever ask," Hoiles said.

"I just think as a whole everyone was very good in a really tough time ... everyone was struggling differently and everyone did their own thing." 

The wider Crows community has wrapped its arms around the club as tightly as Fagan and chairman Rob Chapman spoke of in the immediate aftermath of Walsh's death. 

About 20,000 people attended Adelaide Oval last Sunday afternoon and kicked the footy after a siren sounded at the time the Crows were due to play Geelong. 

A sprawling memorial has also continued to grow at the club's West Lakes base.

Such support helped, Hoiles said.

"It doesn't fix it, but it helps."

The Crows have hired a private jet to fly players' partners and family to Perth for Saturday night's game against the Eagles, while staff wanting to attend will also travel.

Walsh's life will be celebrated at a private memorial service at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday, July 15 from 3pm.